I have recently met a surprisingly broad set of people who play Angry Birds on their iphone. Usually new things attract a specific age group, and might later propagate beyond the target group. But for Angry Birds, every age group seems to have been hit at the same time. The people who told me about their playing were of the following approximate ages: 8, 17, 20, 37, 58, and 72 years old. Even Bishop Tobin, the Catholic bishop of Providence, wrote about reaching level 6.
I tried in vain to think of an analog. Maybe in France in the late 19th century, when limericks making fun of current events were the fashion, a new facetious song or limerick would appear and rapidly spread through the population.
Maybe the game is good enough to attract every single person who has an addictive streak, regardless of their state in life.
Maybe it's a way to fill the empty moments of one's day. Boredom will disappear from our vocabulary. The time I spend staring at cracks in the wall of the dentist waiting room and finding patterns, standing at the bus stop watching the clouds, or sitting a a red light trying to plan my day, can now be filled playing Angry Birds instead. No more waste of any minute of our lives.